Austin Stibbe is a Viterbo University junior majoring in history with minors in political science and legal studies. His interest in communications and public policy is somewhat of a family tradition as Stibbe’s father was involved in politics, notably as policy director for former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson. Stibbe grew up in a political environment watching and listening to political debates and attending events.
His current course load includes classes entitled The Holocaust, Asia in the Modern World, Building a New Europe, and the History of Capitalism. He rates Viterbo very highly due to its tight-knit academic community.
“At Viterbo, students can establish and develop close relationships with professors and faculty,” Stibbe said. “I feel that I am getting a deeper understanding of my academic subjects than I would get at a larger university.”
Stibbe also enjoys the city of La Crosse because it is a college town. In addition to Viterbo, La Crosse is home to the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, and Western Technical College.
“La Crosse has a small-town atmosphere with big-city features,” he said. “It’s a very welcoming community.”
Stibbe said that his initial interest in Viterbo was due to baseball. As a pitcher at Washburn Senior High School in Minneapolis, he earned two varsity letters and was selected as First Team All-Conference and the 2015 Washburn Pitcher of the Year. Stibbe also volunteered to help with the school’s Special Olympics unified bowling team.
As a V-Hawk, Stibbe was named an All-NSAA (Northern Star Athletic Association) Honorable Mention. Of 2019 Stibbe said, “We have a great team and are having a good season.”
If his studies and baseball practice aren’t enough to keep him busy, Stibbe is an intern in Viterbo’s communications department. When he does find spare time, he says there is plenty to do in the La Crosse area. He listed the excellent movie theaters, hiking in the bluffs, and bowling among his pastimes.
Upon graduation, Stibbe plans to have career in communications and public policy—and he’s already thinking about graduate school and pursuing studies in international relations and diplomacy.